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First Love

Results: Finals (June 18, 2005)
Bareback Riding | Steer Wrestling | Team Roping | Saddle Bronc Riding
Tie-Down Roping | Barrel Racing | Bull Riding
Results: Semifinals (June 18, 2005)
Bareback Riding | Steer Wrestling | Team Roping | Saddle Bronc Riding
Tie-Down Roping | Barrel Racing | Bull Riding

RENO, Nev. — Six-time world champion tie-down roper Fred Whitfield loves pressure-packed rodeos and always turns in his best performance in them. He didn't disappoint at the 2005 Pace Picante ProRodeo Chute-out, winning his third career Chute-out title.

Whitfield (Hockley, Texas) turned in the fastest time of the rodeo in the U.S. Army Championship Round on Saturday night with a run of 8.0 seconds. The 37-year-old roper outdistanced Matt Shiozawa, a former Nevada resident but who now resides in Chubbuck, Idaho. Shiozawa turned in identical times in the semifinal and final rounds with 9.3 runs. Shiozawa picked up the semifinal win and a check worth $5,000.

"I didn't have a very good winter and bought a new horse the other day, but things have come together," Whitfield said. "I feel like I'm roping pretty good right now, and with this big win here in Reno, the Reno rodeo starting tomorrow and the Fourth of July run, I'm excited."

All totaled Whitfield, a member of the U.S. Army of One Team, won $15,000 over the two-day event, while Shiozawa was second with $13,750.

Last year, bareback rider Andy Martinez watched his traveling partner Kelly Timberman win a world title, and this year he is hoping he will be collecting the gold buckle in December. Martinez (Pavillion, Wyo.) took a big step Saturday night in achieving that goal with the Pace Chute-out victory and a check worth $16,000. Martinez rode Sankey Rodeo's Broadmore for 88.5 points to win his first Pace Series title.

"I'm all smiles right now," Martinez said. "It's a dream come true to win one of these finales, and I can't really explain it. I was just lucky to be drawing good, and I'm feeling good."

Texan Eric Swenson finished behind Martinez with an 85-point ride on Sankey Rodeo's Parlor Game. Swenson (Bonham) won the semifinals with a 90-point score on Growney Brothers Rodeo's Moulin Rouge. Swenson won $12,750.

Newlywed Jeff Corbello captured his first Pace Series steer wrestling title with a 4.4-second run in the U.S. Army Championship round. Corbello (Iowa, La.) got married last month and was happy to pick up the win and a check totaling $16,000. Corbello qualified into the final round with a run of 5.1 in the semifinals, which was good enough for second place in that round.

"I barely made it last night and told my wife that the last time I came in (to a final round) in the last hole, I did real good," Corbello said. "I love pressure. I'd rather go somewhere where I have to be three-flat than seven. It makes me perform better, I think."

Todd Suhn (Brighton, Colo.) put the pressure on Corbello after turfing his final-round steer in 4.5 seconds before Corbello backed in the box. 2000 World Champion Frank Thompson won the semifinals with a 5.0-second run.

Young guns Clay Tryan and Patrick Smith were the biggest money winners after turning in a 5.1-second run in the U.S. Army Championship Round of the team roping competition. Tryan and Smith (Midland, Texas) won $18,000 each and finished just one spot ahead of Tryan's younger brother, Travis, and his partner, veteran Allen Bach. Travis (Billings, Mont.) and Bach (Weatherford, Texas) finished with a 6.8-second run to win $15,750.

"I am sure our dad is pretty happy right now since Travis and I went one-two," Clay, 27, said. "I think the only way he would have been happier is if we would have split first."

Travis and Bach won the semifinal round with a 5.7-second run.

Saddle bronc rider Cody Wright turned in a picture-perfect ride aboard Big Bend Rodeo's Classic Toddy to win his first Pace title. Wright (Milford, Utah) posted an 89.5 score after posting an 82 aboard Flying U Rodeo's Sam's Town to win the semifinal round. Wright won a total of $17,000.

"I'm dang excited," Wright said. "I was hoping for a win like this, so it's exciting, especially before the Fourth of July run. I'm up tomorrow here (in the Reno Rodeo), so I hope it keeps on going."

Cody DeMoss, another U.S. Army of One Team member, finished second in the final round with an 84 atop Flying Five Rodeo's Toddy Mountain.

Barrel racer Brittany Pozzi (Victoria, Texas) joined fellow U.S. Army of One Team member Whitfield in the victory circle after turning in a 17.18-second run. Pozzi collected $17,000 and finished ahead of world champion Kelly Kaminski, who was second in the final round at 17.36. Kaminski collected checks worth $14,750. Shali Lord and her horse, Slider, won the semifinal round with a blistering run of 17.18 to pocket $5,000.

"I'm real pumped," said Pozzi, who won aboard a horse called Stitch. "I really haven't won anything big on this horse since I lost my other horse, so it's really exciting to be able to come back on a different horse and win."

Rookie bull rider and college standout Steve Woolsey picked up the biggest check of his career on Saturday night. Woolsey (Spanish Fork, Utah) won the bull riding with a 93-point ride on Western Rodeo's Red One and a check totaling $16,000.

"This is amazing," Woolsey, 19, said. "I didn't really know what to think coming in, but just to go at them and try hard every time. This sure can't do anything to hurt my confidence."

Woolsey was the only one to make a qualified ride in the championship round. He finished second in the semifinals after posting an 88 on Big Bend Rodeo's Unforgiven, a two-time PRCA Bull of the Year. Woolsey competed at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., earlier this week, but didn't have much luck and was happy to see his luck change in Reno.

B.J. Schumacher (Hillsboro, Wis.) won the semifinal round with a 91 on Big Bend Rodeo's Tahonta, becoming just the second rider to cover the bull in the last two years.

The top four contestants from the Pace Chute-out earned automatic berths into the $500,000 Pace Classic slated for Nov. 11-13 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The Wrangler ProRodeo Summer Tour begins June 25 in Reno, Nev.

Total Money
Bareback Riding | Steer Wrestling | Team Roping | Saddle Bronc Riding
Tie-Down Roping | Barrel Racing | Bull Riding
Event Winners
Round 1 | Semifinals | Finals